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Richard Francis 'Ricky' Butcher is the son of Frank and June Butcher. He has three sisters - Clare, Diane, Janine Butcher - and a brother, Danny Butcher. Ricky is the father of Liam and Tiffany Butcher and was also the stepfather of Morgan Butcher and Whitney Dean. Ricky also had two daughters named Kira Salter and Natasha Butcher (who are both deceased). He is the ex-husband of Sam Mitchell and Bianca Jackson. He made his first appearance on 12 May 1988 and is portrayed by Sid Owen.


Richard Francis Butcher was born on the 21st February 1973 to Frank and June Butcher. He has an older sister, Clare Butcher, born in 1959 and two younger sisters, Diane Butcher, born in 1974 and Janine Butcher, born in 1983.

In 1987, when Ricky was fourteen years old, his mother died due to cancer. Janine moved in with Clare whilst Ricky, along with Diane and Frank moved to Walford, where Frank took over and ran the The Queen Victoria pub with his old flame Pat Wicks.


1988-1993: Teenage years and marriage to Sam Butcher[]

In May 1988, a teenage Ricky arrives in Albert Square, with younger sister Diane, after the death of their mother, when his father Frank Butcher becomes landlord of The Queen Victoria pub. Non-academic, Ricky proves to be a troublesome teenager and is frequently berated by his father. He begins dating Shireen Karim, an Asian Muslim, much to Shireen's father Ashraf Karim's disgust. Ashraf forces Shireen into an arranged marriage, prompting Ricky to retaliate by terrorising Ashraf for a while with a gang of racists.

In the early 1990s, Ricky shows talent mending cars, so the Mitchell brothers, Phil and Grant Mitchell, take him on at their auto repair shop, Mitchell's Autos, as an apprentice mechanic. In June 1990. Ricky begins dating the Mitchell brothers' younger sister Sam Mitchell and when she decides she wants to get married at sixteen, she and Ricky elope to Gretna Green in 1991. Their marriage is short-lived, as Sam grows bored and starts to look for entertainment elsewhere. She leaves Ricky in February 1993.

1994-1996: Frank Butcher's disappearance and relationship with Bianca Jackson[]

Ricky has a one-night stand with Mandy Salter in January 1994.

In April 1994, Frank leaves his family without warning after a fire at the car lot as part of an insurance scam between him and Phil. Ricky does his best to support stepmother Pat and his little sister Janine and even goes looking for him, to no avail.

Ricky begins a serious relationship in August 1994 when he begins dating Bianca Jackson. They move in together, but when Bianca begins to treat Ricky badly, he begins an affair with her best friend Natalie Evans, in February 1995. Natalie falls in love with Ricky and sets it up so that Bianca catches them kissing. Furious, Bianca finishes with Ricky, cutting up all his clothes and, after Ricky rejects Natalie, she flees Walford.

Ricky is shocked when Frank returns on Christmas Day 1995.

Bianca eventually forgives Ricky for his affair and they reunite.

1997-2000: Marriage to Bianca Jackson, becoming a parent, Bianca's affair with Dan Sullivan[]

Bianca strays with Lenny Wallace but immediately realises her mistake. She marries Ricky on 17 April 1997. Later that year, Bianca falls pregnant with Natasha Butcher - but a prenatal scan reveals their unborn baby has both spina bifida and hydrocephalus. The couple decide to terminate the pregnancy. The trauma devastates them both but it does bring them closer.

In September 1998, Bianca discovers that she has fallen pregnant again, resulting in her prematurely giving birth to their son, Liam Butcher, on Christmas Day 1998.

Ricky watches as his dad Frank and Peggy Mitchell become husband and wife in April 1999. Shortly afterwards, Bianca begins an affair with her mother Carol Jackson's boyfriend, Dan Sullivan. When the affair is uncovered, the Butchers' marriage ends and Bianca departs with Liam for Manchester. Ricky is left a broken and sullen man and He has to face Dan taunting him all the time.

In April 2000, Ricky finds out that Phil has been making money with stolen motors along with Roy Evans and does a runner. He has a car crash and Phil is contacted to go and collect him, but Ricky has just minor cuts and bruises. Phil is worried that Ricky will tell the police about the car scam and tries to explain, begging him to come back to Walford. Phil offers Ricky a partnership in The Arches, to buy his silence. When they stop at a service station, Phil phones his girlfriend Lisa Fowler and, when he isn't looking, Ricky hitches a ride with a lorry driver heading to France. When Phil finds Ricky has gone, he is frantic but returns to Walford alone.

2002-2004: Return for Janine Evans, affair with Natalie Evans and departure[]

Ricky returns to Walford in August 2002, with son Liam, after hearing from his former stepmother Pat Evans, that his younger sister, Janine Butcher, has resorted to prostitution and drug abuse. Ricky remains to help Janine and returns to his old job as a mechanic at The Arches. He begins a second affair with Natalie, who is now married to Barry Evans, son of Pat's new husband, Roy. This affair ends Natalie and Barry's marriage. Roy then dies after a heart attack, after the affair is uncovered and he discovers that Pat had known about the affair, but had failed to inform Barry and Roy.

Ricky and Natalie plan to leave Walford together in 2003, but when Janine informs Natalie about Ricky's one-night stand with his ex-wife Sam, Natalie dumps him. Janine goes on to marry Barry for his money, accidentally killing him during an argument. Discovering his sister's role in Barry's death, Ricky disowns Janine and leaves Walford again in February 2004, horrified.

2008-2012: Frank Butcher's funeral, reunion with Bianca Jackson and family problems[]

On 31 March 2008, Ricky returns to Walford unexpectedly with his sister Diane to inform Pat that Frank has died. Frank is cremated in Walford the following day. Ricky's fiancée Melinda attends but soon finishes with Ricky when she discovers that he is penniless. The Butcher siblings and Pat scatter Frank's ashes in the Albert Square gardens, after the reading of his will.

Ricky returns the following week when he discovers that Bianca and Liam are living with Pat after being made homeless. Despite initial hostilities, Ricky helps Bianca regain custody of her four children, who have been put into care, and then decides to remain in Walford himself to be near Liam. Ricky hopes for a reconciliation with Bianca but she is involved with Tony King. Tony is released from prison later that year and he moves in with the Butchers. Unbeknown to the rest of the family, Tony is a paedophile and is having a secret relationship with Bianca's underaged stepdaughter, Whitney Dean. When this is uncovered, Bianca finishes with Tony and he is imprisoned. Bianca reveals that her youngest daughter, Tiffany Butcher, is actually the daughter of Ricky, conceived on their one-night stand in 2002. This is confirmed when Ricky takes a paternity test.

Phil orders Ricky to locate Sam in Brazil and he brings her home with him. When Bianca is about to admit her love for him, Ricky reveals that he loves Sam. Ricky and Sam get engaged. However, Sam embarks on an affair with Jack Branning and when Bianca discovers this, she tells Ricky and the engagement is called off. Bianca surprises Ricky by proposing and they marry for a second time in February 2010. Ricky then discovers Sam is pregnant. It is unknown whether Ricky or Jack fathered Sam's baby. To Bianca's chagrin, Sam names Ricky as the father, but a paternity test reveals she is lying and the baby is Jack's.

When Bianca is jailed for attacking Connor Stanley in 2011, Ricky struggles to support his children, so he accepts a job in Dubai where he is arrested for indecency, after being caught swimming naked in the sea. He is fined and deported, leaving him with no money upon his return to Walford. From prison, Bianca blames her family's money problems on Ricky, and Ricky seeks comfort from Mandy who has returned to Walford. After reliving their youth and taking drugs, Ricky and Mandy have sex again. Later, Mandy confesses that their one-night stand in 1994 left her pregnant, but their baby daughter Kira died shortly after birth. Ricky immediately regrets having sex with Mandy and decides not to tell Bianca upon her release from prison. However, Bianca discovers the truth on New Year's Day 2012, the same night the Butchers are left distraught by Pat's death from cancer.

Following Pat's funeral, Bianca realises that she cannot forgive Ricky's latest infidelity and she ends their marriage, forcing Ricky to leave Walford.

He returns in June for Janine's wedding to Michael Moon, along with Diane. Janine goes into premature labour and Ricky sits with his newborn niece, Scarlett Butcher, as she fights for survival. Later, he argues with Morgan's biological father, Ray Dixon, about their parenting methods, but they call a truce. He becomes Scarlett's godfather at her baptism, before again.

2015: Life in Germany[]

In August 2015, he agrees to let Liam and his girlfriend Cindy Williams Jr live with him in Germany. He advises Liam against taking money from the Beales and offers to train him to become a mechanic.

2021-2023: Return and reunion with Sam Mitchell[]

In 2021, when Scarlett goes missing, Tiffany suggests that they call Ricky and Diane, so maybe they can help. Janine tells Tiffany that lockdown in Germany sent Ricky insane and that he wouldn't be any help.

After his sister Janine's behavior begins to deteriorate, believing her fiance Mick Carter is cheating on her with his ex Linda Carter, Sonia calls Ricky and tells him to return to Walford to help Janine, Janine is delighted to see Ricky. Ricky catches up with old friends such as Billy Mitchell and his ex-wife Sam. Ricky and Sam rekindle their relationship and they go on a date, he soon considers leaving Walford again but Sam persuades him to stay for a bit longer.

When Janine is finally exposed for her involvement in Linda's car crash and getting her daughter Annie Carter taken away, Ricky calls Janine as she attempts to flee and tells her to come back and face the music - warning her that she won't get away with it. Janine however doesn't listen, and after Mick drowns at sea she comes back to Walford and tells Sonia, Scarlett and Ricky that there was an accident. Ricky calls the police on Janine as he says that she is out of control and has been for years and he doesn't want his sister getting away with all the things that she has done. The next day Ricky tells Sam that he was the one who phoned the police on Janine.

Ricky decides that when he goes to back to Germany he will take Scarlett with him in attempt to have a fresh start after Janine's arrest. Ricky asks Sam to come to Germany with him as he still has feelings for her. Sam says that she will give it some thought. Sam eventually agrees to go with Ricky and they are all set to depart after Ricky gains custody of Scarlett. Ricky also proposes to Sam, so they can have a more stable future. However, when Sam discovers her 12 year old son, Ricky Branning has got Lily Slater pregnant, she decides to put him first and stay in Walford. Sam and Ricky part on good terms before he leaves the Square once again with Scarlett in January 2023.

See also[]